David Miranda

David Miranda allowed to appeal against ruling on Heathrow detention

Posted by on 15/05/14 in David Miranda, Latest News, Litagation, Slider | 0 comments

David Miranda allowed to appeal against ruling on Heathrow detention

15.05.14 Partner of former Guardian reporter to challenge high court ruling on legality of his detention under counter-terrorism powers. avid Miranda, partner of the former Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, has been granted permission to appeal against a ruling that he was lawfully detained under counter-terrorism powers at Heathrow airport. The case – which also involves a challenge to the police seizure of computer material related to the US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden – will now go to the court of appeal. In February, three high court judges – Lord Justice Laws, Mr Justice Ouseley and Mr Justice Openshaw – concluded that Miranda’s detention at Heathrow under schedule 7 to the Terrorism 2000 Act in last summer was legal, proportionate and did not breach European human rights protections of freedom of expression. The judgment stated that Miranda, a Brazilian national, was stopped in transit between Berlin and Rio de Janeiro after meeting the film-maker Laura Poitras. He had been carrying encrypted files, including an external hard drive containing 58,000 highly classified UK intelligence documents, “in order to assist the journalistic activity of Greenwald”. The Guardian made his travel reservations and paid for the trip. Greenwald had told the court that the security services were well aware the seized material was in connection with journalism and not terrorism. He said there was no evidence to indicate that any disclosure had actually threatened or endangered life or any specific operation. But the high court ruled that Miranda’s nine-hour detention and the seizure of his computer equipment was lawful because although it was “an indirect interference with press freedom”, there was not only compelling but “very pressing” evidence of a risk to national security. During the hearing last November, a Cabinet Office official testified that the release of the GCHQ files Miranda was carrying would be very likely to cause great damage to security and possible loss of life. The judges declined to recognise that the seized files were “journalistic material” and insisted they included stolen raw data that did not warrant any freedom of expression safeguards. One of the grounds for granting permission to appeal was that the supreme court has recently decided to hear a related case, Beghal v DPP, which raises similar issues of whether the schedule 7 powers – under which so called ‘port stops’ are conducted – are compatible with European convention on human rights. Welcoming the decision, his solicitor, Gwendolen Morgan of Bindmans, said: “In giving Mr Miranda’s case the green light, the court of appeal noted the importance of the issues and the compelling legal arguments raised in his case. “We look forward to the appeal being heard as calls for reform of schedule 7 grow alongside concerns around the dangerous conflation of investigative journalism with terrorism which was starkly illustrated by Mr Miranda’s detention.” Source The...

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Britain is treating journalists as terrorists – believe me, I know

Posted by on 14/03/14 in David Miranda, Latest News | 0 comments

Britain is treating journalists as terrorists – believe me, I know

14.03.14 Free speech and freedom of the press are under attack in the UK. I cannot return to England, my country, because of my journalistic work with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and at WikiLeaks. There are things I feel I cannot even write. For instance, if I were to say that I hoped my work at WikiLeaks would change government behaviour, this journalistic work could be considered a crime under the UK Terrorism Act of 2000. The act gives a definition of terrorism as an act or threat “designed to influence the government”, that “is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause” and that would pose a “serious risk” to the health or safety of a section of the public. UK government officials have continually asserted that this risk is present with the disclosure of any “classified” document. Elsewhere the act says “the government” means the government of any country – including the US. Britain has used this act to open a terrorism investigation relating to Snowden and the journalists who worked with him, and as a pretext to enter the Guardian’s offices and demand the destruction of their Snowden-related hard drives. Britain is turning into a country that can’t tell its terrorists from its journalists. The recent judgment in the Miranda case proves this. David Miranda was assisting journalist Glenn Greenwald and transited through Heathrow with journalists’ documents when he was held under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act last summer. Schedule 7 means a person can be stopped and detained at a UK port for up to nine hours and affords no right to silence. It compels you to answer questions and give up any documents you possess, and so forced Miranda to hand over his Snowden documents. Subsequently Miranda fought a case against the UK government over the legality of his detainment, to show how this act infringes upon journalists’ ability to work freely. Outrageously, the court found politically transparent excuses to ignore the well-defined protections for freedom of expression in the European convention on human rights. If Britain is going to investigate journalists as terrorists take and destroy our documents, force us to give up passwords and answer questions – how can we be sure we can protect our sources? But this precedent is now set; no journalist can be certain that if they leave, enter or transit through the UK this will not happen to them. My lawyers advise me not to return home. Snowden’s US legal adviser, Jesselyn Radack, was questioned about Julian Assange and her client when she entered the UK recently. I am strongly connected to both men: I work for one, and rescued and watched over the other for four months. In addition, if schedule 7 is used to stop me upon entering the country . I could not answer such questions or relinquish anything, as this would be a risk to WikiLeaks’s journalistic work, our people and our sources. As I would have no right to silence under this act, I would be committing a crime in the government’s eyes. A conviction for “terrorism” would have severe consequences for free movement across international borders. Schedule 7 is not really about catching terrorists, even in its own terms. The Miranda judgment states that it has in this case “constituted an indirect interference with press freedom” and is admittedly “capable, depending on the facts, of being deployed so as to interfere with journalistic freedom”. Officers can detain someone not because they suspect them of being involved in terrorist activities, but to see “if someone appears” to – even indirectly – be facilitating...

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Analysis: Schedule 7: Safeguarding security or threat to journalism? (video)

Posted by on 26/02/14 in David Miranda, Latest News, Litagation | 0 comments

Analysis: Schedule 7: Safeguarding security or threat to journalism? (video)

26.02.14 Last week UK judges ruled that the detention of David Miranda the partner of a Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald was lawful. Miranda was held for nine hours at Heathrow airport last August under controversial anti terrorist legislation schedule 7. In his possession he had highly classified intelligence documents passed on by whistleblower Edward Snowden. The court ruled that the interests of national security outweighed the indirect impact on press freedom. Journalists and civil rights organisations are concerned that this is proof that the UK is now equating journalism to terrorism. This case once again raises the question of where to draw the line between public safety and freedom of expression? Can journalists ever be seen as terrorists? And is some information too sensitive to ever be released into the public domain? Here to discuss this with me in the studio are Omar Faruk, a criminal law barrister, Bill Bowring, Professor of Law at Birkbeck University and on Skype we have Dr Julian Richards, co-director, Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies at the University of Buckingham, and on the phone we have Padraig Reidy, Senior writer from Index on...

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The David Miranda judgment has chilling implications for press freedom, race relations and basic justice

Posted by on 19/02/14 in David Miranda, Latest News, Litagation | 0 comments

The David Miranda judgment has chilling implications for press freedom, race relations and basic justice

Wednesday 19 February 2014 One person’s freedom fighter may be another’s terrorist, but David Miranda is very clearly neither. Yet he was detained at Heathrow airport for nine hours under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000. That the high court has now found his detention to be lawful is disappointing, to say the least. If someone travelling as part of journalistic work can be lawfully detained like this – questioned for hours without a lawyer present, his electronic equipment confiscated and cloned and all without the merest suspicion of wrongdoing required – then clearly something has gone wrong with the law. We’ve been here before. Schedule 7 suffers the same glaring flaws as the old section 44 counter-terrorism power that also allowed stop and search without suspicion. Such laws leave themselves wide open to discriminatory misuse: section 44 never once led to a terrorism conviction but was used to stop people like journalist Pennie Quinton. In a significant victory, Liberty took her case to the European court of human rights and the power was declared unlawful. So it’s surprising to see our judges go the other way on Miranda’s detention, especially given the circumstances. He was on his way home from a meeting in connection to his partner Glen Greenwald’s work on the Snowden revelations when stopped. There was certainly something particularly chilling to press freedom at work here. Liberty and other organisations intervened in his case on just this point, arguing that the detention violated article 10 of the European convention, the right to freedom of expression. Our riled security services’ transparent intimidation and interference with Miranda is shocking. But it’s also important that we use his case to shed light on the murky everyday reality of schedule 7. The power is consistently used to target minorities – you’re 42 times more likely to be stopped if you’re Asian than if you are white – and there’s a sense within these communities that such stops are now an expected part of travel. The people I represent have appalling stories of their delays and invasive questioning about their religious beliefs and attendance at mosques. Imagine having to schedule that into your airport experience as a matter of course. There’s a case pending at the European court of human rights – again taken by Liberty, which has been shouting about this for years – of a British Asian man also detained at Heathrow. He was kept for four and a half hours, questioned about his salary, his voting habits, the trip he’d been on and more. The police copied all his documents and credit cards and kept his mobile phone for eight days. This is the dark underbelly of our terrorism legislation at work – innocent people treated with a contemptible lack of respect for no reason other than the colour of their skin. Yesterday’s Miranda judgment has worrying implications for press freedom, race relations and basic justice. We always hope our judiciary will be the restraining hand on this kind of state conduct, but too often the very mention of national security also has a chilling effect on the courts. Here the suggestion is that disclosure of the Snowden material would assist terrorists and therefore endanger lives. How do you challenge such an opaque assertion? It is the state’s “get out of jail” card when their agents have abused their powers. I do a lot of terrorist work in the courts and those involved in such activity have no illusions about the extent of surveillance. They operate on the assumption that everything is tracked; it is just that they are prepared to take risks....

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